The key difference between progestin and progesterone is that progestin is a type of synthetic progestogen that mimics progesterone, while progesterone is a type of naturally occurring hormone in the human body.
Progestogen, also referred to as gestogen, is a class of natural or synthetic steroid hormones that binds to and activates the progesterone receptor. Progestogens are one of the three types of sex hormones. The other two are estrogens and testosterone. Progestin and progesterone are two types of progestogens.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Progestin
3. What is Progesterone
4. Similarities – Progestin and Progesterone
5. Progestin vs Progesterone in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Progestin vs Progesterone
What is Progestin?
Progestin is a type of synthetic progestogen which is lab-created to mimic progesterone. Progestins are designed to interact with progesterone receptors in the body in order to cause similar progesterone-like effects. Therefore, progestins do some of what the body’s natural progesterone does. For example, progestins can cause changes to the endometrium, which prevent it from proliferating too much; this can help it support implantation and continuation of early pregnancy. However, the chemical structure of progestin is different from natural progesterone. The way it interacts with the hormone receptors in the human body is also different.
Progestins were originally developed because natural progesterone isn’t absorbed well enough when it is taken as a pill by mouth, and it is metabolized by the body very quickly to have much effect. There is now a micronized form of progesterone that is absorbed easier and lasts longer in the body.
Moreover, progestins are present in all forms of hormonal birth control, either alone or with estrogens. In hormonal birth control, progestins prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and the stretchiness of cervical mucus. This makes an unfriendly environment for sperms that are trying to enter the uterus. Furthermore, the other uses of progestins include using for amenorrhea, irregular menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain & period cramps experienced due to endometriosis.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone (P4) is an endogenous steroid and sex hormone. It is involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis of humans as well as other species. Progesterone is the major progestogen in the body. Primarily, progesterone is also necessary for the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus and for maintaining pregnancy. In men, progesterone influences spermiogenesis, sperm capacitation, and testosterone biosynthesis in Leydig cells. It is a crucial metabolic intermediate in the production of other endogenous steroids (sex hormones and corticosteroids, and plays a vital role in brain function as a neurosteroid.
Moreover, in addition to its role as a natural hormone, it is also used as a medication. As a medication, it is used to reduce the risk of uterine or cervical cancer, hormone replacement therapy, and feminizing hormone therapy.
What are the Similarities Between Progestin and Progesterone?
- Progestin and progesterone are two types of progestogens.
- Both hormones are used as medications.
- They bind with progesterone receptors.
- They show similar effects.
- Structurally, they are steroids.
What is the Difference Between Progestin and Progesterone?
Progestin is a type of synthetic progestogen which mimics progesterone, while progesterone is a type of naturally occurring progestogen in the human body. Thus, this is the key difference between progestin and progesterone. Furthermore, the chemical formula of progestin is C20H26O2, while the chemical formula of progesterone is C21H30O2.
The below infographic presents the differences between progestin and progesterone in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Progestin vs Progesterone
Progestin and progesterone are two types of progestogens. They are steroid hormones. Progestin is a type of synthetic or lab-created progestogen that mimics progesterone, while progesterone is a type of naturally occurring progestogen in the human body. So, this is the key difference between progestin and progesterone.
1. “Progestin-Only Hormonal Birth Control: Pill and Injection.” ACOG.
2. “Progesterone.” You and Your Hormones.
1. “Progesterone-3D-balls” By Jynto (talk) – Own work – Created with Discovery Studio Visualizer. (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Norethisterone enanthate molecule ball” By Medgirl131 – Own work. Created with Discovery Studio Visualizer. (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia